We pulled together 13 of the most popular baby swings of 2018 and did a hands-on test and review. Six parents and 7 babies (from 1 to 10 months old) put them to the test: all the settings were tried (swinging, vibration, music), noise levels were rated, battery life was measured, and they were used for both fun and naps. Some were so comfortable and soothing that the babies nodded off within a few minutes. Others were a bit noisier and clunkier and were not as soothing or comfortable. Some had great battery life while others didn't last so long and put a dent in the wallet. If you're going to throw between $100-200 at a baby swing you'll use for less than a year, then you want to make sure you're making a good decision. That's what we're here for.
The Best Baby Swings of 2018:
After all is said and done, we kept going back to the Fisher Price Cradle 'n Swing. Not the sleek & fancy 4Moms swing, or the trendy Cocoon swing. Those were nice, but just can't match the feature list or reliability. The Cradle 'n Swing units are available in a bunch of different themes, some are really cute (like the Little Snugapuppy), and some fun and adventurous (like the Rainforest Friends). Many of the first-time moms in our group didn't realize how much these have advanced from 7-8 years ago. This one swings either side to side (6 different settings) or front to back. The legs fold up for portability and storage, and it now includes a plug-in adapter to save yourself a lot of D batteries (it can also run on 4 D batteries if you choose). There are songs and nature sounds, a rotating and reclining seat, and it senses the baby's weight to adjust motor torque and compensate for the weight of a growing baby and keep swinging speeds consistent. Moms thought the seat was very plush and comfortable, and the fabric cover was easy to clean (it's machine washable, by the way). They liked that it had a good weight limit of 25 pounds, and some of the themes were ridiculously cute. Out of the box, assembly took about 25 minutes: it wasn't particularly complicated, but there were a lot of connections to be made (and in the right direction!). Another great touch that the older versions didn't have is the 5-point harness, which really helps keep your baby safe and secure and prevent them from sitting up, leaning way forward, or otherwise freaking out their parents! Cons? Not too many. The motor did make a subtle clicking noise sometimes, and when not plugged in it burns through batteries pretty quickly. Overall, this is an excellent option. Note that we also tested the Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing; it's a bit cheaper but in our opinion the Cradle 'n Swing is the better option overall.
Here's another great option with some added versatility relative to the Cradle 'n Swing: the swing seat can be removed and placed on the ground as a rocker. It has a clever handle on the top to help you carry the rocker around. It also has a soothing vibration feature with 2 speeds, which works whether it's in swing or rocker mode. Like the Cradle 'n Swing, the seat can be rotated so the baby can swing side to side or front to back, and it can use 5 D batteries or plug into the wall. It also has music and the great 5-point harness, along with a high 30 pound weight limit. Out of the box, it took us about 25 minutes to put together, which was a bit easier than the Cradle 'n Swing. So with all these great features you're probably wondering why it isn't higher on our list! Well, when not plugged into the wall this thing burns through batteries like crazy, and the motor was a bit louder than the Cradle 'n Swing. And the mobile doesn't rotate around like the Cradle 'n Swing. The one thing our test moms found the most annoying was that unlike the Cradle 'n Swing there wasn't a single power button to shut off the whole system. So if you have the swing, music, and vibration on, you will need to shut off all 3 separately. That being said, if you value the versatility of the removable rocker, you will definitely be happy with this baby swing. Note that we also tested the Graco DuetConnect LX Swing Plus Bouncer, which we also recommend (rather than the rocker, it has a detachable bouncer). Highly recommended!
This is a super simple, relatively compact, highly reliable and versatile swing that comes in at a great price point under $100. What makes it relatively simple is that it has a small frame design, helping it take up much less space than typical baby swings, making it great for smaller rooms or apartments. The mobile is also quite cute and simple, but doesn't spin around overhead; it is there for baby to look at and reach up to. But that's where the simplicity ends, because this inexpensive swing actually has quite a few features. It can play 10 different music tunes, or 5 different nature sounds. It has 2 vibration settings (we'd call them low and medium), and 6 swing speed settings. It swings side to side just like Cradle 'n Swing, along with a 5-point harness, and supports babies from 5 to 30 pounds. It can use four D batteries, or simply plug into the wall with the included power adapter. The seat cover removes easily and is machine washable, which is a nice touch. What it doesn't have are recline settings (the seat has a fixed recline position), the ability to switch to front-back swinging, or easily folded legs for storage. We also thought the seat was a bit lacking in terms of support and cushioning, especially for smaller babies. This would be remedied by having some additional recline positions, or by giving better head and neck support. And the motor could be a bit loud at times, especially on higher speed settings. So overall, the Cradle 'n Swing and Duetsoothe are better swings, but this is an excellent option if you're looking to save a bit of cash and get a great overall baby swing. If you're looking to save a little cash and get a relatively basic swing, this is a highly recommended!
This is a great baby swing for space-constrained situations, smaller homes, and portability. You can place it on the floor in a tight spot, and you can fold it up and bring it along with you as a travel swing. And it fits easily into a medium or large suitcase, and into even the smallest trunks. But don't let the small size fool you, this baby swing is capable of most things that the larger ones are. It has multiple (six) swing speed settings (and it swings front-to-back which is nice), and in our testing we thought that the settings were pretty quiet, even at the medium to high speeds. The only noise was when you adjust the swing speed the knob itself is quite loud, and there is a minor popping/cracking sound until it attains the new speed setting; it wasn't really loud enough to wake a sleeping baby, but definitely could if the baby is a light sleeper. The baby swing does have some music options, including nature sounds and lullabies, which were fine. The swing also has a timer so the batteries won't get burned out unintentionally. Speaking of batteries, it takes 4 "C" type batters, and in our usage they lasted about a month with daily use. There is no cord for plugging it in, so swapping out batteries every month or so can get expensive. Keep that in mind when you're considering the relatively low (about $55) price point, as one of the more expensive options above might end up being cheaper in the long run because they include a wall plug. Our testing babies found it very comfortable, and the fabric was easy to wipe clean, and was also machine washable (cold water). Though Ingenuity says it can be used with babies up to 19 pounds, we found it straining quite a bit with a 14-pound baby, so that seemed like a more reasonable limit. Other downfalls? Well, it's so portable that it's also very low to the ground, and parents might get frustrated having to kneel down so low to get the baby in and out. But that's the cost of high portability. The only other con was that there is no adjustable recline, so the baby is positioned pretty far back, which is ideal for napping but not great for a sit-up position where baby can watch what you're up to, or do some playing or feeding. So if you're looking for a great portable baby swing, this is definitely an awesome option at a great price!
This isn't technically a swing, it's a "rocker" which means that rather than swinging side-to-side or front-to-back, it rocks front to back, using your or your baby's own power. There is a little "kick stand" on the bottom, and if you put it down the unit can't rock, but when it's up you can gently rock it back and forth. If your baby is having a little kicking and swatting party (swatting at the cute hanging animals), it will likely rock a bit by itself. There are small protrusions on the rocking legs so you don't need to worry that it will rock too far forward or back. This was handy on more than one occassion when our toddler thought it would be amusing to rock our baby a little aggressively! Fortunately it never tipped forward or back! In any case, it also includes a button for soothing vibration, and a 3-point seatbelt to keep baby secure. The weight range is from birth to up to 40 pounds, which is awesome because you can adjust the seat recline (there are 2 positions) to turn it into a comfy little chair for a growing toddler. We also liked how easy it was to detach the cover and throw it into the washing machine. Overall, we found it to be sturdy and stable, with enough space to fit baby and her favorite luvey or blankey. All of that for the lowest price on this list bring it in at 5th place overall. If you're looking for a true battery-operated swing, go with the others, but if you want a cheaper, smaller, and versatile rocker, this is a good bet!
It may be the coolest looking on our list, and maybe even the most capable, but it's also the most expensive by at least $100. 4Moms came out with the mamaRoo and simpler rockaRoo (front to back gliding only, but also only $160) a few years ago to provide a swing/glider that mimics mom's natural soothing motions. Just like you bounce up and down and sway side to side when you're holding your baby, so does the mamaRoo. We played around quite a bit with the 5 different motions (car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock a bye, and wave) and were really impressed with the fluidity of movement and how quiet the system was overall (the animation on the right is the "car ride" feature). The animation shows the most basic "black" color option, but it is also available in Designer, Grey, Multicolor, and Silver (which we show below). Our reviewers thought it was the easiest to get kids in and out of because of its angle and the sleekness of the arm hanging over-head. The seat has adjustable recline, the seat cover is removable (and there is an infant insert available as well) and machine washable. It also plugs in so you don't need to worry about wasting a bunch of expensive batteries (that will definitely save some $$). Several moms also commented that it has a much smaller footprint than regular swings, and they liked that you are much less likely to trip over the legs that stick out on the sides (like they did with the Fisher Price and Graco swings). They also liked some of the unique features: you can hook up your phone or music device to it and play your own music, you can remotely control the swing through an app on your phone (e.g., if you're cooking or cleaning, or god forbid taking a nap, you can control it without going over to it). Note that we couldn't get it to work with the newer Android lollipop system, but we assume 4Moms will be updating that soon. Other cons? Well, its weight limit is only 25 pounds, which is a little on the lower side. And it also only has a 3- point rather than 5-point harness like some of our other options. Overall, this is an excellent, sleek, and good-looking swing/glider that your baby is likely to fall in love with. If the price were lower, we would have it at a higher position on our list.